SINGAPORE — Foreign domestic workers (FDWs) are now required to stay home on their rest days, said the Ministry of Manpower on Saturday (11 April).
The Straits Times reported that MOM said FDWs can go out to buy meals or run essential errands, but must return home immediately after and not loiter or gather in public places.
In a statement, MOM said, "Should FDWs go out on their rest day, employers will be accountable for their FDWs' whereabouts, and ensure that they return home upon completion of their errands. FDWs should wear a mask when making essential trips."
It added that inspections over the last few weeks found that crowds at common congregation areas have reduced significantly. However, there are still small crowds in certain areas, which poses a risk of transmission.
The announcement comes on the fifth day of a partial lockdown of Singapore, amid so-called circuit breaker measures designed to curb the further spread of the coronavirus. In a Good Friday address, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appealed to Singaporeans to stay home, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in foreign worker dormitories as well as in the general population.
The ministry had previously only advised FDWs to spend their rest day at home, or to take their rest day on a weekday, when public spaces are less crowded. It also said that for maids who spend their rest day at home, employers should not assign them work.
For FDWs who come to a mutual agreement with their employers to forgo their rest day, employers must provide compensation in lieu of the rest day.
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